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Thoroughbred Identification

See our Services page for a full list of services.

All Thoroughbred horses are microchipped and identified by the Onderstepoort Veterinary Genetics Laboratory in collaboration with the Equine Research Centre, on contract to the National Horseracing Authority of Southern Africa (NHA). Members of staff of the OPVGL and ERC visit Thoroughbred stud farms during January till April each year and implant a microchip for identification and take a blood sample from each foal for DNA profiling and parentage verification. An average of 4000 foals are identified each year. All information is kept on a database at the OPVGL and is also transferred to the NHA.


A Microchip is implanted in the ligamentum nuchae on the left side of the neck, about 2cm below the crest halfway between the poll and withers. The area is prepared by shaving and swabbing with an alcohol and hibitane mix.

The foal identification (FIC) form is checked to ensure that all the markings correspond to the markings on the foal. FIC forms must be completed using a standard horse identification system developed by the OPVGL and ERC in 2000. The standard system guidelines are available in CD format from the OPVGL.

Blood samples are collected and labeled and data is uploaded to a PC in the field and transferred to the OPVGL where the DNA profiling is done and all foals are parentage verified before registration.


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Last edited by Gideon van der MerweEdit